Feb 21, 2024

Morgan & Morgan Secures Nearly $3 Million for Woman Struck by Her Own Car Due to CarMax Error

Morgan & Morgan Secures Nearly $3 Million for Woman Struck by Her Own Car Due to CarMax Error - driving sign

Morgan & Morgan has a strong track record pursuing cases when an accident victim suffers needlessly because of another party’s negligence. One such case involved a $2,910,565 verdict against CarMax on behalf of a woman injured when she was struck by her car in the CarMax Auto Superstore parking lot in Orlando due to a breakdown of communication between CarMax’s salesman and appraiser.

Our client and her husband went to CarMax to have their manual transmission vehicle appraised for trade-in. The vehicle was equipped with a remote starter that was installed after the car was purchased, which was of course shown to the car salesman. The salesman was also shown that the vehicle was parked in neutral with the parking brake engaged.

The CarMax salesman gave the remote key fob to the appraiser but failed to inform him about the remote starter. After the appraisal was complete, the appraiser returned and parked the vehicle in front of the dealership, leaving it in first gear.

As our client and her husband were walking back to the parking lot, her husband activated the remote starter from the key fob. The vehicle, still in gear, took off and struck our client, fracturing her pelvis. As a result, she had to undergo surgery to correct her injury and has suffered constant pain since.

Before going to trial, CarMax made several offers that were far below what Morgan & Morgan attorneys Martin J. Jaffe and Brian McClain believed the claim to be worth.

However, they were faced with a big hurdle if they wanted to win the case.

CarMax hired an expert to testify that the automatic start system was defectively installed in a manual transmission vehicle. This defect allowed the vehicle to start and move if it was left in gear when the remote was activated.

“There was no evidence to rebut the defect allegation, which meant our case was focused squarely on the failure of the used car salesman to inform the appraiser of the remote starter,” Jaffe said.

This didn’t prove to be an issue, as Jaffe and McClain got the expert witness to admit the defective starter wasn’t the main cause of the accident.

“Their expert was forced to concede that if not for the miscommunication, the vehicle would have been parked in neutral, with the parking brake on, as the client’s husband had parked it, and this incident wouldn’t have happened,” Jaffe said. “This failure proved to be the breakdown in communication that led to our client’s lifelong injury and pain.”

The jury agreed and awarded our client $2,910,565, far more than CarMax had offered before trial.

Pursuing Your Own Lawsuit – Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know if I Have Grounds to Pursue a Lawsuit?

Accidents can and do happen anytime, but victims should not be held accountable for these instances. This is why personal injury law exists to allow those who have been harmed by someone else’s negligent behavior to take legal recourse to recover compensation. If you find yourself in that situation, you must act quickly and with the help of a dedicated and qualified lawyer.

There are several different kinds of situations that can all lead to a personal injury claim. This can include things such as a slip and fall in a grocery market with a wet floor or a car accident lawsuit caused by someone who is under the influence of alcohol. In any of these situations, it is important to evaluate your legal rights as soon as possible. You may be eligible to recover compensation as a result of this accident, but it is in your best interest to act quickly. Each state has a rule known as the statute of limitations that requires you to file a lawsuit in a timely manner. Failing to do so means you would give up the right to recover any compensation and be responsible for your bills on your own. It is recommended that you at least consult with a dedicated and experienced lawyer to discuss your next steps.  

Grounds for Suits on Someone Else's Property 

When you are visiting a business, that company or property owner is responsible for maintaining their property and keeping it safe and free from obstacles. If a property owner fails to remove these obstacles or has other dangerous Machinery on the premises, you could argue that this is their legal responsibility when you are hurt and suffer the consequences. It is important to connect directly with the premises liability attorney as soon as possible to protect your legal right and to determine their level of responsibility. Depending on the complexity of your case, it could be that more than one entity is responsible for your injuries. You can only know for sure by working directly with a lawyer who has handled premises liability cases before. A parking lot, sidewalks, and other interior and exterior elements of a property can all be included in a premises liability case.

 What Proof Do I Need for a Legal Claim?

If you were injured due to someone else's negligence, it is your responsibility to showcase the evidence that supports this. You may need to speak to witnesses at the scene of the accident, obtain photos or videos of how the accident happened, or be prepared to tell your story in court. Your premises liability attorney can help you further understand the different ways to show proof and cause. Beware of signing any paperwork presented to you by the company owning or managing the property, as this could be paperwork that ways your rights to pursue legal action. It is also important to get medical attention as soon as possible after you have been hurt, since you may not realize the full extent of your injuries until after the fact.

Reach Out if You’ve Been Hurt

If you’re injured because of another’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation, but you may need to put up a fight to get what you deserve.

Businesses and insurance companies want to limit their liability—and by extension, your compensation—and they are willing to make any argument to accomplish that. You want an experienced Orlando auto accident lawyer at your side who has a track record of success and knows how to handle the courtroom tactics of big business and insurance companies.

At Morgan & Morgan, our attorneys regularly go up against big insurance companies and businesses such as CarMax and come away with results. Additionally, they frequently take cases all the way to trial, if that’s what it takes to get their client fully compensated. No one should have to settle for anything less than full justice. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.